- The appellant from Samoa applied for residence in New Zealand under the Family (Dependent Child) category.
- INZ declined the application due to his previous financial independence in Samoa.
- The Tribunal acknowledged special circumstances, including mistreatment in Samoa and forced financial independence.
- The Tribunal recommended the Minister of Immigration consider the appellant for residence as an exception to the instructions.
The appellant, a 23-year-old single man from Samoa, arrived in New Zealand in October 2017 to live with his parents, both New Zealand citizens. His mother had been in New Zealand since 2008, and his father since 2012. The appellant was separated from his mother for nine years, enduring mistreatment in Samoa. His mother had previously left him in the care of her sister in Samoa when she moved to New Zealand.
Prior to Appeal
On 18 June 2018, the appellant applied for residence under the Family (Dependent Child) category. He provided supporting documents, including his Samoan police certificate listing his occupation as a carpenter. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) raised concerns about discrepancies in family details and the appellant's financial independence, noting his previous employment in Samoa.
Immigration New Zealand Assessment
INZ assessed the appellant's application based on the Family (Dependent Child) category instructions. They focused on his financial independence in Samoa from 2014 to 2017, where he worked various jobs. Despite being currently financially dependent on his parents in New Zealand, INZ found that his past employment in Samoa indicated a period of financial independence.
Immigration New Zealand Decision
On 22 February 2019, INZ declined the appellant's application. They concluded that he was not totally or substantially reliant on an adult for financial support during his time in Samoa, thereby not meeting the criteria for a dependent child.
The Immigration and Protection Tribunal (IPT) reviewed the case, considering the appellant's personal history, the circumstances of his employment in Samoa, and his current situation in New Zealand. The Tribunal acknowledged the appellant's mistreatment in Samoa and his forced situation to work and board with strangers.
The Tribunal found special circumstances due to the appellant's long separation from his mother, the mistreatment by his maternal aunt, and his forced independence in Samoa. The fact that the appellant met all other requirements for the application, coupled with his inability to rely on extended family support in Samoa, contributed to these special circumstances.
The IPT confirmed INZ's decision as correct but recognised special circumstances that warranted the Minister of Immigration's consideration for an exception to the residence instructions. The Tribunal recommended the Minister consider granting the appellant residence as an exception to the instructions.